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Chester County Press

Penn Township honors Freese for work with emergency management

12/15/2020 11:51AM ● By Steven Hoffman

The Penn Township Board of Supervisors presented emergency management coordinator Chuck Freese with a plaque in appreciation of his service to the community during the Dec. 2 township meeting.

“Penn Township is a great team to be a part of,” Freese said after receiving the award.

Freese gave the board an update on the current surge of Covid-19 cases. According to Freese, there are 14,195 residents in the 19390 zip code. In that area, there have been 366 cases of Covid-19 reported since March, including 33 new cases in the week leading up to the meeting. 

“I think, in this area, we’re doing well,” Freese said, adding that the worst of the surge is expected to take place around the third week of December.

During the meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing the acquisition of a small parcel at 863 West Baltimore Pike, adjoining township property. The ultimate plan for the site is to construct an emergency operations building. 

The board did not immediately agree on how best to deal with the windows at the Red Rose Inn. The board agreed with the township historical committee that the painting of the windows was poorly done and needs to be addressed. Previously the board had planned to put in new windows, but it appears that the windows may be original to the building, and the historic committee would like them to be preserved. Where the window sashes were rotten, the wood has already been replaced and the original glass retained. 

The board adopted the township’s $1.7 million budget for the coming year. No major change are shown compared to the current year, and no increase in taxes is planned. Major expenditures include $563,000 for general government, $541,000 for public services and EMS, and $396,000 for public works. 

In other business, the board approved an amendment to the zoning ordinances reducing the minimum setback requirement for swimming pools from 20 feet to 15 feet when adjoining open space. 

The board gave an update on the battle to save the Chester Water Authority from sale to a private, for-profit firm. A hearing was held by the State Supreme Court on Nov. 10 in Harrisburg, but no decision has been made as of this time. 

“I encourage everybody, if you can, write letters to representatives in Harrisburg.  If we can block this thing, we need to block it. If (CWA is) sold, rates are going to go through the roof,” supervisor William O’Connell said. 

Supervisor Curtis Mason noted that increasing testing and regulations could force property owners with wells to eventually shift to public water. With this in mind, the Board believes everyone in the township should be concerned about this case. 

“You’ll all be on (public water) before it’s over,” Mason said.